Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Living the Dream – A Photographer’s Story: Qatar

Imagine if just for once you didn’t have to stick to your usual nine-to-five job. Instead you were able to do the one job you’ve always wanted to do, but any number of things (it’s usually money) have stood in the way. This is exactly the situation I found myself in six months ago when the company I had worked at, for the last 14 years, decided to close, making everyone redundant. This decision did not come as a surprise; in fact, I had been hanging around for the last few years hoping that it would happen, as I had a plan. Fast-forward six months and I have just finished photographing the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar. The plan is starting to unfold.

No, This is the “90%” New Ducati Desmosedici GP12

01/30/2012 @ 8:49 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

No, This is the 90% New Ducati Desmosedici GP12 Ducati Desmosedici GP12 Valentino Rossi 635x474

You may have been misled by some eager journalists today and yesterday, if you saw a Ducati Corse livery-clad Ducati Desmosedici GP12 that some sites were passing off as the first shots of the “90% new” GP12. With the alleged new GP12 looking surprisingly similar to the aluminum-framed “GP0″ that was tested at Valencia, Valentino Rossi’s mechanic has now Alex Briggs confirmed that the photos taken were not of the all new “GP12 Phoenix” that the factory team will race this season. While the Ducati lords can taketh away, they can also giveth, and Valentino Rossi himself has posted the first photo of the factory Desmosedici GP12, and the bike is clearly different.

Of course the changes everyone has been talking aboutfor the past months about are still hidden underneath the factory Desmosedici’s clothing, as Ducati has been able to adjust the GP12′s weight distribution on this new iteration. Though it’s likely to have remain unchanged, there has been considerable speculation that Ducati Corse’s Desmosedici GP12 will have a narrower cylinder angle, and depart from the 90° arrangement.

You’ll note the use of the words “factory team Desmosedici” as the satellite Ducati squads will use bikes based off the GP0 design, which debuted at the Valencia test last year. Karel Abraham has already debuted AB Cardion’s version of the satellite GP12, and while it sports an aluminum perimeter-style frame (rumored to have been built by British engineering firm FTR), we can see now that it varies slightly from the chassis the factory team is using at Sepang.

Photos That Are Not of the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 “Phoenix”:

Photos That Are of the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 “Phoenix”:

Source: Valentino Rossi (Twitter)


  1. frijole says:

    I wanna see er nekkid… whats the motor angle?

  2. Laurençio says:

    What an ugly machine? I hope it cures Ducati’s MotoGP ills.

  3. doug says:

    Hmmm, looks a little dated and awkward…. Looks like an 84 Ninja

  4. BBQdog says:

    Tank made of rubber ??

  5. Patrick says:

    Who cares how it looks. If it’s fast it’s fast.

  6. Keith says:

    doug, you say that like it’s a bad thing. 8^)

  7. Dc4go says:


  8. Bryan says:

    Ugly?? I LOVE the look of raw unfinished race bikes!

  9. mark says:

    Based on the photos of the new bike, I believe it’s still a 90deg V, but rotated backwards. The rear chassis cross member/shock mount is much further back than the GP0 to make room for the rear cylinder being further back than previous. A narrower V angle would have left the rear bank where it was, and closed the angle of the front bank.

    This makes sense, since a narrower V angle would require much more than just a new case, since the increased vibration would require a balance shaft, as well as different exhaust tuning, both of which Ducati has no data and experience with.

    A new engine case, with cylinders arranged in a V rather than an L, would allow the same cylinders and heads to be used, as well as all the same tuning data and models to still be used, while allowing the engine to be moved forward in the chassis. It’s still not ideal, since the more forward position of the engine is partially offset by the more rearward tilt of the rear top end, but should still result in a more forward overall weight distribution than the previous design. Hopefully it’s enough to do the trick!

  10. 76 says:

    Mark I would not be so quick to say the 90 is still there, I agree its rotated backwards but the amount of clearence from the front wheel to leading edge of fairing seems to have greatly increased based on comparing the 2 shots (GP0 to Phoenix). Its tough without true sideviews though.

    Fingers crossed this thing makes some headway, GP needs this bike getting into the thick of it

  11. Glenn Plummer says:

    So does this mean my new Ducati Sport Bike will be a genuine replica of the failed GP11? Maybe it’s time to consider the Aprilia Factory. I sure don’t want a trackday tool with zero feedback at every corner. That could get real exspensive real fast.

  12. mark says:

    I don’t think the CF monocoque frame of the GP11 had anything to do with the lack of front end feel, but rather the lack of weight on the front tire, preventing the tire from heating up enough to perform optimally.
    If the new 1199 was good enough to impress Troy Baylis, it’ll be good enough for you.

  13. Glenn Plummer says:

    So true Mark. And my 10/10th’s is really like Troy putting around the track.